Karen Williamson: Geelong, Surf Coast and Bellarine Family, Newborn and Maternity Photographer

Wednesday, February 24, 2021
Well, it has been a bit of a journey to come to this point, and I am soooooo excited to launch my Geelong family photography biz! After closing Yellow Dandy Shop a couple of years ago, I had a much needed break. How amazing it was not to spend my evenings packing orders, or uploading web products (seriously, that takes SOOOO much time). 

But, after a while I started to feel a little lost. My shop had been constantly on my mind for 6 years, I was always thinking, and planning, and working on things related to it, so it felt strange to not have that. It was certainly part of my identity and that was a difficult thing to lose! 

So, I started to dream... what do I really want to do with my time. What do I love. What works with our families pretty chaotic schedule. I have loved photography for a long time, in fact in my Year 7 graduation booklet, I had written I wanted to be a Photographer! So I enrolled myself in a local course and spent a year and a half being challenged and growing in my skills and knowledge. 

And now here I am, putting myself out there, and loving it! I love being able to capture those special moments in time for families! Not the typical stiff posed photoshoots of our childhood. Family photography has changed a lot since then! It is all about having fun, playing together at sunset at the beach, by the river or in your home, and me running around in the background capturing your family connection. Those natural smiles are just the best! Of course I can get a few of the everyone smiling at the camera poses as well. 

To get in contact to book a family photoshoot in Geelong and surrounds, or to check out my work you can find my website here:


Geelong Family Photographer
Karen Williamson Photography Maternity Photoshoot Geelong

Geelong Newborn Photoshoot
Geelong Family Photoshoot
Geelong Beach family photoshoot

10 Hilarious Parenting Memes / Quotes

Friday, May 10, 2019

 10 funny mum quotes and memes

I love memes,  if I could spend all day looking for funny parenting quotes and memes all day, I totally would! I love the ones that really make you chuckle out loud! And the best part is, they are mostly funny because they are oh so accurate! I thought I would round up some of my favourites, all ready to be used on your social media accounts  (and if you are feeling really nice, chuck a @yellowdandy on the end of your post to give us a shout out) because sharing is caring!

Barrabool Maze Estate Ceres Review

Wednesday, May 8, 2019

Barrabool Maze Estate Ceres

A few weeks ago the kids and I thought we would go and check out the Barrabool Maze Estate, it is in Ceres, only about 10 mins from Geelong (depending on what side of Geelong you live on). With 3 young kids and a husband who often works away,  I'm always on the lookout for easy, fun local activities to do to keep them busy (and not whinging at me), so when I heard that the Barrabool Maze Estate had opened, we were keen to get down there and check it out! 

Isn't it great when people have a vision and work really hard on something that is different and fun for the family, thats what I really appreciated about the Maze Estate, clearly so much love and hard work has gone into restoring (a previously very run down) maze and property. The maze is great, my kids spent hours there running around, and playing hide and seek (with me of course). While there are parts of the maze that are still on the road to recovery, it didn't dampen the fun! I'd love to see them add a scavenger hunt or some added fun things to discover throughout the maze, I know my kids would love something like that they mark off on a sheet as they are running around like crazy! The gardens and the property are really gorgeous and would be a lovely place for a wedding or event, and of course just a morning coffee where you can relax and the kids can run off some steam!!

We also had lunch at the estate, they have indoor and outdoor seating options, and are definitely kid friendly with colouring sheets and pencils available as well! The menu is pretty simple, but the burger was big and jammed full of ingredients. The kids meals were on the smaller side, my 7 year old downed his small kids burger (just a bun, patty and sauce) and then proceeded to eat half of mine, and the kids fish and chips came with just one small piece of fish. 

Prices for Maze Entry are $12.50 for an Adult and $8.50 for children 3 and over. 
Or you can buy a family annual pass for $100, which is worthwhile if you plan on going regularly! 
You can find them here : http://barraboolmaze.com.au
They are open Thursday -Sunday from 10am-4pm

Lunch at Barrabool Maze Estate

Review Barrabool Maze Estate

How to Paint Laminate Kitchen Cabinets!

Wednesday, May 1, 2019
Cabinets AFTER being painted Dulux Misty Moore

Cream Laminate Cabinets BEFORE

We recently did a mini renovation on our kitchen, and as part of that we painted our cream laminate kitchen cabinets and drawers. The cabinets were in pretty good condition, but the colour was just dated and wasn't our style, so this was a relatively cheap update that made a massive difference to our kitchen. Its not hard to paint over laminate, but it is a bit tedious and if you want it to look good, you have to take your time and do it right! I was worried that I would really stuff them up! Its the worst when you have a vision in your head and your DIY goes totally pear shaped! Thankfully, it worked our great! So here are my tips for painting laminate cabinets:

First, its good to remove the cupboards from their hinges, remove the drawer faces from the drawer, and remove any handles

Then, you need to make sure its clean, so clean (scrub in some cases, ha) them all down both sides with a clean cloth and Sugar Soap and dry them off.

Then they need to be Primed, as regular paint will just peel and scratch off laminate. We did our research and the best Primer for the job was Dulux Precision Maximum Strength Adhesion Primer, that is recommended to use on laminate. It goes on really smoothly, and I found the best results when I used a roller (I used the Monarch Razorback Foam roller and found the results were really smooth and even)

Top Cabinets are Dulux White on White, bottom Dulux Misty Moore.

After one coat of primer, then its time to paint with the chosen colour. We did Dulux White on White for the high cabinets and Dulux Misty Moore for the bottom cabinets and drawers, plus any of the other laminate cabinetry that can be seen around the kitchen was also cleaned/primed and then painted for a uniform look. For the white cabinets we tried Dulux Aquanamel in 'Low Gloss', because I didn't want to have a glossy looking kitchen, but wanted the durability of Aquanamel. I actually didn't love using it, it was more difficult to mix all the colour in than I'm used to and no matter how much I stirred I still had specks of blue coming through, thankfully none of them showed up on the final coat, but it was a pain to have to continue stirring even in the mixing tray. We couldn't get the darker colour Misty Moore in the low gloss, and I'm actually so glad now, we opted for Dulux Semi-Gloss Aquanamel and it went on great! Really smooth, and doesn't have an overly glossy look when applied with a roller. I used the same Monarch Roller as mentioned above.

I used saw-horses to lay out the cupboards and carefully rolled each cupboard, one side at a time, starting with the back side, leaving ample drying time in between sides, and then did 2 coats of the top colour.

I recommend labeling or putting the cupboards/drawers in order so you know exactly where they need to go back because it can get confusing. We didn't paint the bottom edge for the lower cabinets and top edge for the higher ones, so that's where we wrote which position each cabinet or drawer was!

It takes about a week for the paint to really cure and harden, so you have to be a bit more careful with the cabinets during that time to prevent the paint from scratching or chipping off.

Painted laminate kitchen cabinets

Yellow Dandy Shop is Closing...

Monday, April 1, 2019

After 5 years of running my online kids fashion store, Yellow Dandy Shop... I have had to make the tough decision to close our virtual doors. In the last year and a half we have had some massive changes in our family life! We left our family and friends in Perth, and moved across the country to Geelong, Vic (where I knew absolutely NO ONE), as my husband got offered a great new role at his company! Its always tough moving to a new place, but moving with 3 small kids, a business to run and a husband that now travels A LOT, has made it tougher! Now that we are settled, we love it it here! I tried to keep the shop running for a while, but it is so hard when you just feel like you aren't able to give it everything it needs! And retail... well even online retail needs a lot of time, energy and planning, and I felt like it was just all becoming too much, and something had to give! I even took up drinking coffee at 35 years old, and sure it helped a bit! ha! I had so much energy for the first week!

We have cleared most of our Sale stock, and will remain open for a little longer, but soon our little shop will disappear. It is hard to say goodbye to something that you nurtured and thought about ALL day every DAY for 5 years! But, it does feel nice to have some slower mornings and not to feel the pressure to get to the post office every day or stress about making enough sales to be able to pay for all the incoming invoices!

On top of everything, a couple of months ago we bought a house in Geelong... and this new renovation project will keep me pretty busy for the next little while! So, you'll probably see me around this space more. Documenting our renovation, posting recipes and craft ideas again. At least I hope to be.

But, to everyone who supported us in our little biz, Thank You, we had the best customers and I am so grateful for all of your support! What an adventure it was!

Karen xx

10 Shows Worth Binging Right Now

Sunday, July 22, 2018

I'm a self-confessed show streaming/binging addict.. we have both Netflix and Stan, and used to have Foxtel Now as well.. but thought I should curb that for the moment, and wait for them to add more shows. Of course there are probably about 100 shows that I could recommend. But, lets focus on the ones I've been watching recently!

1. Good Girls
Good Girls just came out on Netflix, and we have smashed the whole season already! The writing is clever and hilarious, and it has some of my favourite ladies in it! Christina Hendricks who was Joan in MadMen and Retta, who I loved in Parks & Recreation. Its about 3 regular suburban Mums/Moms who turn to a life of crime, for different reasons, and they just keep getting deeper and deeper! 

2. Younger
Season 1, 2 and the first 6 or so episodes of season 3 are currently on Stan. I'm hanging out for my weekly Wednesday Younger fix. The premise, a 40+ year old newly divorced Mum of a college student Liza Miller (Sutton Foster), struggling to find work due to her age, pretends to be a 26 year old Millenial to score a job in the publishing industry! It turns into more than just lying about a job as she develops relationships along the way! It's quick, witty and has great writing. Younger also stars Hillary Duff, as a fellow editor who is fab in this series.

3. Unreal
Season 4 of Unreal just dropped on Stan last week, I love this show, but I can't watch it all at once, it is intense! Unreal is basically based on the popular Bachelor type shows, but it focuses on what happens behind the scenes, what the producers do to to create these magic moments on set, and how the contestants are manipulated and played to create "ratings worthy" television. Its not reality tv, its a scripted drama centred around the show "Everlasting"'s show runner Quinn King and one of the main producers (and master manipulators) Rachel who show no remorse when it comes to making things happen on set! 

4. The Handmaids Tale
Praise Be...If you haven't heard about this distopyian thriller based on Margaret Atwood's best selling novel yet you may have been living under a rock. Season 2 just finished up on SBS on Demand last Thursday, and I sat on the edge of my seat almost the entire time! This show is depressing, frustrating, stirs up deep feelings and is so addictive. Based in the not so distant future, the USA as we know it is no longer, and it has been overturned and replaced by a misogynistic, homophobic and totalitarian religious cult who have created the new nation of "Gilead" so as you guessed no sunshine and rainbows, but very interesting and addictive none the less. I loved Elizabeth Moss as Peggy in Mad Men, but she is amazing as Offred or June, in The Handmaids Tale. I can't wait for Season 3. 

5. Claws
Maybe I was drawn to Claws because it is based in the Florida town of Palmetto, close to where we used to live in Sarasota! The first episode didn't quite capture me, but I decided to give it a go and by the second and third episodes I was hooked! Its southern, its crazy, it involves drugs, drama,  nail salons, fierce ladies, money laundering and some wild Russians! Season 1 and some of season 2 are currently on Stan!

6. The Good Fight

The Good Fight is a spin-off series from The Good Wife! So expect the same fast paced Law Drama, with some cast favourites from the Good Wife, but without Aleisha, which I can't say I'm disappointed about, because I was getting a little sick of the same story line of the Good Wife by the end of the series! If you like Lawyer-type shows, then this is a good one to try and you don't have to had watched the Good Wife! If you happen to be a Trump supporter, you probably won't like it, there are a LOT of current Trump issues focused on in this show! Season 1 is on Stan and Season 1 & 2 are on SBS on Demand!

7. Big Little Lies 
Season 1 is on Foxtel Now, and I think Season 2 is coming in 2019 (Whyyy so long!!!!)
This series has some big names, Nicole Kidman, Reece Witherspoon, Shailene Woodley (Divergent Series), Alexander Skarsgard (True Blood), Adam Scott, Zoe Kravitz and more. Big Little Lies starts slowly and begins to weave a very intricate plot and reveals more about the complicated lives of the main characters who are all interconnected through their friendship formed from their children attending the same school. Big Little Lies keeps you shrouded in mystery and wanting to know more the whole time! Its crazy and intense and I had to just keep watching.. I NEEDED to know what happened!

8. Glow 
GLOW stands for Glamorous Ladies of Wrestling. These unsuspecting actresses get cast to star in a ladies wrestling TV show, with little to no experience. Enough Said. You know this 80's combo of lycra, hairspray and throwing each other across the ring is going to be hilarious! Add in Marc Maron, and his brash dry humour who seems like he's basically playing himself and Alison Brie and its really addictive! Season 1 & 2 are currently on Netflix.

9. The Good Place
If you need a lighthearted show in your life after watching too much Handmaid's Tale or Big Little Lies, this is a great show for that! It is clever and witty and just a hilarious premise that is full of surprises. Starring Kristen Bell and Ted Danson, one who has just died (Bell) and the other the creator of the particular neighbourhood (Danson) of her afterlife "The Good Place". Bell's character who was really a horrible person, has been mistakenly sent to the Good Place, and she knows she's not meant to be there! Instead of fessing-up she partners with her 'soul-mate' an Ethics professor to try and learn about ethics so that she can continue the charade! But, it doesn't end there, twists and turns and some unexpected curveballs thrown in. Season 1 & 2 are on Netflix. 

10. Schitt's Creek 
A family of millionaires bought a town as a joke, "Schitt's Creek" but when they lose all of their money, they only have one place left to go!  Eugene Levy (American Pie) plays the Dad, Johnny and the Mum, Moira is played by Catherine O'Hara (Home Alone) they and their spoiled clueless son and daughter who haven't had to work a day in their lives end up living in 2 rooms in a run down grimy motel and having to deal with how to go on with life penniless in a small town! Its cute, and funny and Eugene Levy's own children also star in the show! His son Daniel Levy plays his son and his daughter Sarah plays the towns cafe owner! There are now 4 seasons on Netflix, enough to keep you busy for a while! I like this one on a night when I have to multi-task, work and watch!

This isn't a comprehensive list of all my favourites, of course theres the likes of Outlander, Game of Thrones, Vikings, Better Call Saul, Billions. But that would take way long. This is just what I'm watching now...

Sugar Republic Review - Pop Up Dessert Museum in Melbourne

Wednesday, July 11, 2018

On Thursday last week the kids and I ventured into Melbourne to go to Sugar Republic - the new Pop-Up Dessert Museum in Fitzroy. Since moving from Perth to Geelong in October, we haven't spent much time in the big city! There has been so much exploring to do locally, weekends get busy, and honestly, I've been slightly scared to drive in Melbourne by myself with the kids, I'm freaked out by the trams and the weird hook turns! But, thankfully, we made it all the way to Fitzroy in once piece, with the help of a fellow Ex-WA friend leading the way! After years of watching cool things happening in Melbourne and feeling like we were missing out over in Perth, and seeing all the  wonderful images splashed over Instagram, I was pretty keen to make the effort to visit! 

 We spent about an hour and a half going through the different dessert themed rooms, taking lots of photos and enjoying the activities like playing in the giant gumball machine, jumping out of a three layer cake, swinging in the fairy floss room and swimming in the pastel pink ball-pit!  I did struggle to make them go slowly through the rooms, they were pretty desperate to get to that ball-pit!

There are some sugar-filled treats to be had along the way, but don't worry parents, not too many for the smalls. The kids loved spinning the wheel of treats, grabbing a Wizz Fizz, a bag of Fairy Floss and a Soft-Serve ice cream to finish off the visit! That was MORE than enough sugar for my three!

Entry times are staggered so it wasn't overcrowded, even in the middle of school holidays. We didn't feel rushed through the rooms! There are some amazing installations to admire and more photo ops in here than you can point a stick.. or camera in this case at! If you are looking for fun picture ideas and great back-drops it is definitely an Insta-worthy visit! The full wall off neon signs is incredible and the giant Make Me Iconic Bubble-O-Bill, Paddlepop and Golden Gaytime were so fun! 

Tickets Cost $35 for adults and $25 for kids over 3. Plus booking fees. I felt that the entry fee was a little over-priced for what it was. They did a great job in so many ways but I think there could have been a bit more polished and have a more upbeat atmosphere. For me, taking 3 kids (one who is only 2, so he was free) it cost over $90 for a relatively short experience. But, I do love to support ventures like this and people doing things that are different and original, so I was happy to pay.  I guess if they packed it out and opened up more tickets per time slot they could make the tickets cheaper, but it would have made for a pretty frustrating experience if you had to continually wait for all crowds to move to get your perfect shot! So they thought that out well! 

The kids had a great time, and are still talking about it. It was difficult to drag them out of the ball-pit after their 10 minute time allotment.. but at least I could convince them with the promise of ice-cream.

Sugar Republic Melbourne Review
Sugar Republic is on in Melbourne until the 17th of August. It Sold-Out originally, so they have extended the dates! And then I have heard it is moving to other cities in Australia! Yay! 
You can find out more info on Sugar Republic's website www.sugarrepublic.com.au